Friday, March 16, 2012

March Book Group -- Half Broke Horses

Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel by Jeannette Walls
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source:  Personal copy
March Book Group Choice
Genre:  "Real life" fiction

When you seek shelter in a tree with your siblings because of a flash flood, and subsequently spend the night there too – you know your life is destined to be an adventure.

Lily Casey Smith did it all – rode on a horse across the state of Arizona at the age of 15, broke horses, taught school, lived in Chicago, worked a ranch, played poker, boot-legged moonshine – oh, and married and had 2 kids. One of them being Rose Mary Smith Walls – the eccentric mother of Jeannette Walls of The Glass Castle. Half Broke Horses is Jeannette’s second book and homage to her fiercely independent and unique grandmother.

This was our book club selection for March and we all loved it. Not as much as The Glass Castle – but that book was such a dysfunctional masterpiece that it would be hard to measure up.

Lily was an amazing woman – especially at a time in our history when independence, free thought, and escapades were not valued traits in women. Lily made it seem “normal” to hold a pistol to the head of a disagreeable elder, or transport your kids to each school where you teach, or beat most men in a game of poker. Maybe not the perfect mother…but she did what she thought was best. We need more women in the world like Lily Casey Smith.

This is the perfect companion to The Glass Castle…but I need to re-read it again to put all the puzzle pieces together.

Highly recommended for book clubs/groups.

Listen to the author talk more about her grandmother here:



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